Big announcement time gals and guys: in one month and two days I’ll be turning 28. Absolutely ludicrous when you consider that I still can’t get child-proof caps off, but that’s life for you.
As I’m approaching this mini-milestone (kilometrestone? Yardstone?) of my late-twenties, I’m reflecting quite a lot on my life now vs. my life when I was turning 18. Of course there are loads of serious things I could dwell on, but as per I’m thinking about the stupid things. Like how I used to weigh a stone less while consuming a diet almost exclusively made up of Pot Noodles and orange VK.
And also, as it the point of this post, how I used to dress like an imbecile. In this post I sashayed down memory lane and wrote about my penchant for weird accessories in my teens, and today I’m sharing 7 pearls of fashion wisdom that I wish I could share with my younger self.
1. Proportions are everything. Apart from that extra stone I’ve mentioned, I’ve basically had the same physique since I was about thirteen: 5 foot 2, extremely pear-shaped, occasionally prone to a chubby arm if I overdo it on the potato.
It’s amazing then that it took me SO long to realise I needed to wear clothes designed to fit my frame. Discovering petite ranges was an absolute turning point for me. Case in point, the pieces from Matalan’s new petite clothing range that I’m wearing in this post. A full suit is the sort of thing I could never wear from a normal range – the blazer would swamp me, the trousers would trip me up and I would basically look like a massive tool.
When clothes are cut the right way though, the look can be completely different. Everything is nicely in proportion and I don’t look too short (until I tell you that fence behind me in 2 feet tall, anyway).
Another petite trick I wish I’d know when I was a teen was the rule of thirds – basically, your top should take up one third of your outfit, and your bottom half should be two-thirds. It sounds simple enough, but the amount of times I wore unflattering long tops over leggings and wondered why I looked like I’d been cut in half is not okay.
2. Size really doesn’t matter. Like most teenage girls, I was much too obsessed over what number was on the label in my clothes. I remember not buying things if a certain size didn’t fit me, whereas now it’s one of the last things I look at. I’ll decide which size I want based on how I want a piece to look, so have everything from a size 6 to a size 18 in my wardrobe. Seriously hun, NOBODY CARES.
3. Some colours will just never suit you. Of course my teenage wannabe-emo self wouldn’t have listened anyway, but I do wish I could go back in time and stop myself from wearing quite so much purple. Especially in the form of purple jeans AND purple eyeliner. Not. A. Vibe.
4. And while we’re on that topic, neither will spaghetti straps. Two things I now realise that my broad shoulders don’t need: bandeau necklines, and spaghetti straps. It only took me ten years to reach this conclusion, but we got there eventually – and there are only around 3000 photos of me with armpit fat to serve as evidence, so that’s great.
5. People aren’t lying – trends really do come back around. My mum would always say this, and I was very cynical. Yet here I am in 2018, lusting over a pinafore skirt that is identical to one I had back in Sixth Form. While I was happy to see the back of most of my teen clothes, there are some things I wish I’d had the foresight to keep hold of.
6. You shouldn’t buy things just because they’re a bargain. I used to be incredibly bad for this, especially when I was ballin’ off my part-time Sainsbury’s wages. It didn’t really matter how unflattering, impractical or straight-up uggers something was – if it was from Topshop and it was in the sale then you better believe it was coming home with me. There is one particularly hideous full-sequin shift dress from H&M that really sticks in my memory here. It cost £3. It looked like it cost £3. I looked approx £2.10 in it.
7. WAISTCOATS AREN’T A GOOD LOOK. STOP WEARING THEM ON NIGHTS OUT. Ahem, enough said there…
(If you’re a petite gal like me then you should also definitely take a look at the Matalan petite range – I was also kindly sent these high-waisted jeans, which I can confirm are very Joni-esque but at over half the price.)
What are some of the style tips you wish you could go back and share with your teenage self? Let me know in the comments!